Bordered by the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea, the Alps and the Pyrenees, France is one of the biggest and most influential countries in Western Europe. Each year, thousands of international students choose it as their destination for education and growth. If you’re also on a path to finding an MBA program in France, this article will give you the guidelines to kickstart your search by focusing on four questions you might be asking yourself – how, where, how much, and what.
MBA program formats
One of the first decisions you will have to make is which MBA format suits you best. Professionals with a few years of work experience who want to change roles or industries or climb the career ladder may want to pick a full-time or part-time MBA. Senior managers with extensive leadership experience would be better suited to an Executive MBA. Additionally, programs can take place on campus, online or a mix of both. Start by carefully considering your professional background and current needs to determine the right MBA format for you.
For example, French business schools don’t have that many full-time online MBA programs on offer, but you will be able to find an online or hybrid Executive MBA. However, if you’re planning on applying to a French university from abroad, moving to France for your MBA will be one of the most valuable and unique experiences of your life. With a full-time MBA on campus, you will be able to get completely immersed in your studies, access incredible networking opportunities, and appreciate French culture and the lifestyle first-hand.
Unimy Match uses AI to create your personalized list of matching business schools. With just a few clicks, you can specify the exact program format you are looking for to narrow down your options.
MBA locations in France
Have we convinced you to dive into the MBA experience in France? If so, you will want to do some research on the specific locations of different business schools. You may not realize this, but France is huge! It is one of the biggest countries in Europe by area, which means more cities and campus locations to choose from for your studies.
One way to think about what you prefer is to consider city size. Paris, Marseille, Lyon, and Nice are some obvious choices if you are looking for a big cosmopolitan city with a great blend of business, entertainment, and culture. Karthik Acharya, who graduated from the International MBA at emlyon business school in 2019, described Lyon as a “mini-Paris” but to him, it was also way better than Paris.
“People are very friendly. A lot of people speak English, but it would be nice if you can start speaking to them in French because that’s how you learn French. Overall, great atmosphere, great nightlife, and good connections in terms of transport. I love the city.”
If you feel more comfortable in a cozy small town where the environment is calmer than the big city, why not consider Toulouse or Nantes?
Of course, there is much more to consider than city size. Bordeaux is famous for its wine tourism, Lyon is a well-developed financial hub, while Grenoble has just what you need if you like mountains and winter sports. If you’re planning on settling in after graduation, the environment and career prospects in the area will be just as important to think about.
MBA costs in France
Tuition fees are an inevitable part of deciding not only where you want to study, but where you can afford to do so. Making a financial plan is a useful and realistic way to break down your budget availability and make sense of what is feasible.
Full-time MBA programs in France typically last around one year. Most tuition fees range between EUR 20,000 and EUR 55,000, but in some cases they can go as high as EUR 100,000. You need to check what this fee includes – study abroad trips may or may not be included in the price. Depending on your budget, looking at price tags such as EUR 20,000 vs. EUR 55,000 may be a big factor that will influence your decision.
Next to study fees, candidates heading to France should consider the cost of living and include estimates of living expenses in their financial planning. This is where the location of the university comes in again. Bigger cities such as Paris and Lyon may be more expensive in terms of accommodation compared to places like Nantes. When it comes to Executive MBA and part-time programs, traveling may incur more costs for students rather than accommodation when they need to get to their in-person modules.
If you already have a very good idea of the tuition fee range you would be able to afford, try Unimy’s AI matching feature. Fill in your MBA preferences, including your tuition fee budget, and the algorithm will take care of the rest for you.
MBA specializations in France
France offers diverse opportunities in terms of career growth in different industries and professional directions. It has a strong entrepreneurial scene which means you could pick an MBA with a specialization in entrepreneurship such as the ones at EDHEC Business School or Grenoble School of Management.
It is one of the best places to get to know the fashion and luxury sector and institutions such as ESSEC Business School have taken the time to develop excellent MBA specializations in luxury brand management.
For those looking for an in-depth degree relevant to the wine and spirits sector, Burgundy School of Business has an MBA program taking place “in the heart of the world’s most famous vineyards”.
Beyond the specific specialization tracks, candidates should be aware that there are additional ways to customize their program experience. Erika Courteille, MBA Class of 2021 at ESCP Business School, was able to enrich her knowledge in sustainability through the company consultancy projects during the program. While studying in London, she completed a project on renewable energy in the UK and in Paris, she took part in a project on sustainable packaging in the luxury industry. According to Erika, her consultancy work played an important role in helping her land her post-MBA job.
“They were very helpful because both were in different fields – one is on energy and the other one is on circular economy packaging. They broadened my scope in terms of capabilities and exposure.”
Hopefully, these initial guidelines have given you a few ideas about your search for an MBA program in France. Opportunities abound; all you need to do is narrow down the list to find the degree that fits your goals.